32. The Cincinnati Bengals (0-11) / LW: 32
Andy Dalton is back under center, and my hopes of Ryan Finley impressing have slowly vanished. At this point the Bengals are best off losing out and taking the Ohio-native Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick.
31. The New York Giants (2-9) / LW: 30
Are we at a point where we’re giving Daniel Jones a pass because of his games against the worst secondaries in football? Take away his games against the Bucs, Redskins, Lions and Jets he’s averaging 185.2 yards per start, six touchdowns and six interceptions. He feasts on the easy secondaries, but struggles against slightly above mediocre ones.
30. The Washington Redskins (2-9) / LW: 31
First home win in quite some time, but are we sure Dwayne Haskins is the future? He wasn’t showing much of anything on the field yet again, and his veteran teammates don’t seem to show him much love. Could end up being a messy situation.
29. The Miami Dolphins (2-8) / LW: 28
No game for the Dolphins this past week, but they have three pretty fair shots at pulling out wins with upcoming opponents in the Giants, Jets and Bengals.
28. The New York Jets (4-7) / LW: 29
Sam Darnold has looked good these last two weeks, but let’s add some context into things. The Raiders have been on a roll, but their defense did enter the week giving up the sixth-most opposing passing yards per game. Glad he might’ve found his mojo for now, but I’m not going to say he’s on a franchise-quarterback trajectory.
27. The Denver Broncos (3-8) / LW: 27
There’s no reason to not play Drew Lock this week, right? Denver’s draft position warrants the need to see if there’s any quarterback on the roster that has starting potential. Give Lock the keys for the rest of the year, and let him give Denver nation a reason to believe.
26. The Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) / LW: 26
Oy vey, Phillip. Chargers are a bad team this year, and their elderly franchise quarterback’s talent has been dwindling week by week. Given where this season might take them, I think they should definitely entertain drafting a quarterback in the first round.
25. The Atlanta Falcons (3-8) / LW: 23
Atlanta rattles off two wins over playoff-caliber teams in the Saints and Panthers and follows it up with a loss to ... the Buccaneers? This should hopefully reassure Arthur Blank that firing Dan Quinn is still in his best interest once the season ends.
24. The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) / LW: 22
It’s weird to think about how the Jaguars were in the AFC title game less than two years ago. Their defense has fallen off a cliff since then, and it seems like they’re always due for Derrick Henry stomping all over them at least once a season now. Not sure what to make of the future in Jacksonville.
23. The Chicago Bears (5-6) / LW: 25
The Bears defense beat the New York Giants this week, but Mitch Trubisky somehow almost blew it for them. Same note, different day: get yourself a new quarterback this offseason, don’t wait.
22. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) / LW: 24
Jameis Winston is a true unicorn in the NFL right now, and has officially topped the century mark in turnovers since his professional career began. Can’t wait to see what team makes him their backup quarterback.
21. The Detroit Lions (3-7-1) / LW: 18
The poor Detroit Lions. Injuries hurt, and not having a secondary hurts just as much. I hope they don’t move on from Matt Patricia yet, I really felt like they were building something good before the injury bug hit them.
20. The Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1) / LW: 20
Weren’t on the field this past week so I don’t have much to say. Could be a really fun game this weekend between Kliff Kingsbury and the reeling Los Angeles Rams.
19. The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) / LW: 21
Congrats, you beat Cincinnati. Do you want a cookie? Hopefully Devlin Hodges makes this offense hum because, to me, there’s nothing interesting about this Steelers team.
18. The Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) / LW: 17
Both Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson have taken massive steps back since their miraculous 2017 season. Their defense has finally stepped up in recent weeks, but Wentz doesn’t have a receiver to throw to and Pederson’s run out of pizazz in his playbook.
17. The Cleveland Browns (5-6) / LW: 19
I’ve said it all season. The Browns were going to start off slow, and then feast on the second half of their schedule as they make a push toward the postseason. With teams like Indy and Oakland stumbling and another games coming up against the Steelers, the Browns can really flip things around between now and the beginning of January.
16. The Carolina Panthers (5-6) / LW: 14
Stumbling they go, as the Panthers lose another heartbreaker — this time to the New Orleans Saints. Tough road to get back in the playoff picture, especially given they have games against the Seahawks and Saints down the stretch.
15. The Tennessee Titans (6-5) / LW: 16
Another week, another win for Tennessee. This team’s biggest concern heading into the season was quarterback and, for now, Ryan Tannehill has mended those worries. Can’t count out the Titans just yet.
14. The Dallas Cowboys (6-5) / LW: 15
Dak Prescott wasn’t great on Sunday, but any quarterback would struggle in that weather and against New England’s secondary. The Cowboys had their run game going but seemed to abandon it too quick, and their special teams miscues gave Jerry Jones more ammo to fire Jason Garrett at the end of the season.
13. The Indianapolis Colts (6-5) / LW: 13
Without a down-field presence in its passing offense, Indianapolis can’t be counted on to pull out consistent wins. Whether or not Jacoby Brissett is the future of the franchise (and I lean toward the side that he’s not), we can’t assume this season is over with only two games remaining against opponents with an above .500 record.
12. The Oakland Raiders (6-5) / LW: 11
Sheesh. Awful showing for the Raiders in New York this past week, but I still think they’re in a solid position to push for the playoffs. Even if they split their upcoming games against Kansas City and Tennessee, they have the luxury of ending the season with games against the Jaguars, Chargers and Broncos — all of which are very winnable.
11. The Los Angeles Rams (6-5) / LW: 9
Am I still too high on the Rams? Probably. They’ve looked awful in recent games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but they still boast a winning record and have a load of playmakers throughout the roster. If they could only find some consistency on offense, this team would bell well within the playoff conversation.
10. The Houston Texans (7-4) / LW: 12
Houston creeps into my top 10 with a win over Indianapolis, but I don’t think we can confidently say that the Texans carry a roster that has AFC championship potential. They were outmatched against the Colts but won the game because of their ability to push the ball down the field, but this is still a bad defense and I’m still convinced Bill O’Brien is not a good head coach.
9. The Buffalo Bills (8-3) / LW: 10
They’ll never blow out opponents, but the Bills are extremely consistent, physical and don’t turn the ball over. It’ll be interesting to see how the weather starts to play in their favor once the faster and flashy offenses can’t carry the same explosiveness in January.
8. The Minnesota Vikings (8-3) / LW: 8
Still think this is a massive collapse waiting to happen, but until Kirk Cousins pulls it off again I’ll have them standing strong in my top 10. This is a really great roster, I just don’t see No. 8 being able to lead this team into the playoffs.
7. The Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) / LW: 7
While the Patriots defense shuts everyone (except the Ravens) down and the Ravens ram the ball down everyone’s throats on offense, the Chiefs are just kind of there. They don’t “wow” anyone as they did in 2018, but this is still a terrifying offense with good playmakers on defense. There’s no doubt in my eyes that they’re the No. 3 team in the AFC.
6. The Seattle Seahawks (9-2)/ LW: 6
If the Eagles could’ve mustered anything on offense this would’ve been yet another narrow victory for Seattle. I just don’t want to put faith in lucky teams, because luck won’t last forever (and for Colts nation its Luck ran out in August). Don’t want to put money on this team making it to an NFC title game.
5. The New Orleans Saints (9-2) / LW: 5
Just like the Colts (in a way), this is another team that’s fatal flaw is a down-the-field presence in the passing game. Fortunately enough, their playmakers on offense are great and Sean Payton dials up the right calls more often than not.
4. The Green Bay Packers (9-3) / LW: 2
Maybe the Packers just shouldn’t play games on the West Coast. Another absent performance by Aaron Rodgers and his offense, and the 49ers stomped them for 60 straight minutes. Am I a little concerned? Yes. But am I going to abandon ship on a really talented roster with an elite quarterback? Not any time soon, that’s for sure.
3. The San Francisco 49ers (10-1) / LW: 3
San Fran has officially placed itself as the best team in the NFC, but I’m still going to give the edge to the Saints, Packers and Seahawks in the playoffs when the game falls on the lap of the quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo is good, not great, and could be the sole reason the 49ers don’t make it to the Super Bowl.
2. The Baltimore Ravens (9-2) / LW: 4
Baltimore is the hottest team in football right now, and they’re stomping both good and bad opponents. Give Lamar Jackson the MVP award already, he’s virtually a cheat code when he’s paired up with Greg Roman as his offensive coordinator. You won’t be able to pry my eyes off the television next week, when we get the tremendous matchup of this power-run offense against a dominant 49ers front seven.
1. The New England Patriots (10-1) / LW: 1
Bill Belichick, check. Tom Brady, check. I’m going to ride this wave until they either lose in the regular season again or fall to the Ravens in the AFC championship game. New England has just under two months until they’ll have to see Baltimore again, which is enough time to master the plan on how to stop Lamar Jackson.